Bookie George is reining supreme

SAFE BET: George Carrigill and Lorna Littlewood show off the winner's trophy. (d30031115)

SAFE BET: George Carrigill and Lorna Littlewood show off the winner's trophy. (d30031115)

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WINNING bookie George Carrigill has come first past the post in a national awards scheme.

His Dewsbury-based firm romped home to clinch the Chain of the Year title in the prestigious Betview awards. And that was first time out.

“We have never entered for these awards before,” said a delighted Mr Carrigill this week on receiving his accolade at a ceremony in London.

His company won the section for chains with 20 outlets or fewer .

In what are regarded as ‘the Oscars’ of the gambling industry, Carrigills were said to operate “with excellence across all outlets”. A citation continued: “This not only enhances the customer experience, but makes a positive contribution to staff and the industry as a whole.”

“We are over the moon,” said Mr Carrigill who, at 78, has no intention of retiring from the business he has built up for more than 50 years.

“Much of our success has to do with our terms of business,” he said. “There is not another bookies which gives the concessions and the terms we do. This award is for the work staff have put in. It’s not just me.”

He has previously won an industry innovation award, but Mr Carrigill says this latest is the pinnacle in his company’s long history. “After all, we’re just a small firm in Dewsbury,” he said.

With branches in Dewsbury centre and bus station, Mirfield, Ravensthorpe, Earlsheaton and Heckmondwike, he employs 24 staff. “It’s great for us all to be recognised at this level,” he said.